Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells May Evade Chemotherapy by Hibernating

In the study, researchers exposed AML cells to chemotherapy and observed that a subset of the cells went into a state of hibernation, while simultaneously assuming a condition that looked very much like inflammation. “These characteristics are also commonly seen in developing embryos that temporarily shut down their growth due to lack of nutrition, a state called embryonic diapause,” explained Dr. Ari M. Melnick, the Gebroe Family Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine via a press release. “It’s not a special process, but normal biological activity that’s playing out in the context of tumors.”